In an interview with PEOPLE, pop icon Barry Manilow broke his silence on his marriage to Garry Kief. The singer for the first time talked about his nearly 40-year romance with Kief, his manager husband.
Manilow said he is “so private” and always has been.
The 73-year-old music legend spoke of his marriage to Susan Deixler, the woman he married after high school.
“I just was not ready for marriage,” Manilow told PEOPLE. “I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats – I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
At the time, Manilow said he was not struggling with his sexuality. Their marriage lasted just a year.
After his career skyrocketed in 1974, Manilow met Kief, a TV executive.
“I knew that this was it,” Manilow recalled. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”
Kief would go on to become Manilow’s manager and president of his production company.
Manilow and Kief remained together, despite Kief’s discomfort with his partner’s fame. The couple stayed under the radar.
In 2014, the two married in secret in their home in Palm Springs, California. Manilow’s sexuality had long been a topic of speculation before two tied the knot.
A year later, Manilow revealed that he was gay after news of the marriage emerged.
Manilow told PEOPLE that coming out was a “blessing and a curse,” as he was concerned about the reaction from his fan base, which consists primarily of females.
The pop icon said he thought he “would be disappointing them” if they knew about his sexuality. Manilow said that his fans were “so happy” when they learned of his relationship with Kief.
He called the reaction “beautiful” was and was “grateful” for the positive comments from fans.
Manilow’s new album This is My Town: Songs of New York will be released on April 21.